When many people think of Black, fictional couple goals — “Dwayne Wayne” and “Whitley Gilbert” of “A Different World” likely come to mind. Now, there is a monster-sized list of why one can argue how those two are not goals. However, no matter where you land on the side of loving or hating the roller-coaster relationship between Dwayne and Whitley, what made them so iconic was the portrayal by real-life actors Kadeem Hardison and ’90s “it” girl Jasmine Guy.
The on-screen love story between the two actors made the allure of attending an HBCU even more appealing to students already locked in on the idea of Black colleges. Hillman University was a fictional place, but “A Different World” made it seem real and brought HBCU culture to the homes of millions each week. And Dwayne and Whitely were at the center of that television magic.
While Hardison deserves his flowers for the work he did on the show, Guy brought something unique and special to the character of Whitley that made her the cultural icon we know and love today.
Jasmine Guy was born March 10, 1962, in Boston, MA. Although born in Boston, Guy was raised in Atlanta, GA, and attended Northside Performing Arts High School. Capitalizing on her performing arts background, she moved to New York to study dance at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
Her affinity for dance would be her entry into television as she began her career as a dancer. She was cast in the 1980s series “Fame” alongside dancer and choreographer Debbie Allen. And from there, her career would take off.
Mostly known for her work on “A Different World,” Guy recently admitted on the Uncensored podcast with Ryan Cameron that, due to a lack of ownership, she earned $6,000 a week for her work on the popular sitcom.
“We didn’t own it, you know,” she explained on the podcast, as reported by Atlanta Black Star before adding, “I didn’t have any position to ask for nothing,” she said.
“When I first got to ‘A Different World,'” I had a contract, and I got $6,000 a week, and I had a limited contract for seven episodes, me and Kadeem [Hardison]. So, when we came on to the show, by episode six, he was like, ‘What do you think?’ I was like, ‘I don’t know. I didn’t give up my apartment,” Guy continued.
However, Celebrity Net Worth reports that Jasmine Guy has a net worth of $4 million, a far cry from those humble beginnings.
Let’s look at the journey of Jasmine Guy and what contributed to her wealth.
TV, Film, And Theater
One word Jasmine Guy is seemingly not a stranger to is range. Outside of “A Different World,” her acting career has placed her alongside some industry greats and at the center of cultural classics like “Harlem Nights,” “School Daze,” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”
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She has also appeared on Broadway in shows like “Grease,” Chicago,” and “The Wiz.”
Behind The Camera And Mic
Guy also has credit behind the camera as a director. She directed episodes of “A Different World” and the Martin Luther King Jr. musical, “I Dream.”
Jasmine Guy, who is 60-year-old, also had a brief music career, releasing her self-titled album in 1990.